NAO Aviation Safety Policy by NWS

VIEWS: 42 PAGES: 13

									NAO 209-124
Eff: 10/1/06; Iss: 6/22/06



                               AVIATION SAFETY POLICY



SECTION 1. POLICY AND PURPOSE.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has a responsibility to
provide a safe working environment for its workforce, and for partners who are exposed
to the risks associated with flying on aircraft owned or operated by NOAA. The purpose
of this Order is to make aviation safety the number one priority for all aviation
operations:

a. by ensuring aircraft meet NOAA's airworthiness and operational safety standards;

b. by requiring medical screening of personnel;

c. by providing personnel with aviation safety training and aviation life support
equipment (ALSE); and

d. by establishing a corporate NOAA Aviation Safety Board (NASB) and Aviation
Safety Program (ASP) to provide policies, procedures, tools, and training that follow the
Safety Standards Guidelines for Federal Flight Programs codified in sections 102-33.140
and 102-33.155-185 of title 41 of the Code of Federal Regulations (41 CFR 102-33.140
and 41 CFR 102-33.155-185).

SECTION 2. SCOPE.

.01 Except as provided in Section 2.02, this Order applies to all NOAA personnel who
fly on any aircraft in the performance of their official duties, and to all individuals who
fly on aircraft owned or operated by NOAA. For purposes of this Order, aircraft operated
by NOAA includes:

a. aircraft rented, chartered, leased, or owned by NOAA or NOAA personnel, and used
to conduct official business; and

b. aircraft operated by public or private entities on behalf of NOAA through written
support agreements with NOAA.
.02 This Order does not apply:

a. to use of scheduled air carriers for transportation;

b. to use of aircraft for the acquisition of products or data (including products or data acquired
through grants) where no NOAA personnel fly on the aircraft in any capacity; or

c. to use of aircraft for movement of cargo where no NOAA personnel fly on the aircraft in any
capacity.

SECTION 3. BACKGROUND.

.01 NOAA operations often require flights for purposes of transportation or mission operations
made in both rotary and fixed wing aircraft operated by NOAA; other federal agencies of the
U.S. Government, including the armed forces; state and local governments; foreign governments;
and civilian aviation service providers. These aircraft operators may be providing the service
directly to NOAA or to another party. Examples of routine NOAA flight operations include
hazardous weather research, aerial damage assessment, air chemistry, forecaster training, coastal
and offshore surveys, enforcement, and remote sensing.

.02 An aircraft operated by the U.S. Government, or one owned and operated by the government
of a state, the District of Columbia, or a territory or possession of the United States or a political
subdivision of one of these governments, may be considered to be operating as a "public aircraft"
as defined in sections 40102 and 40125 of title 49 of the U.S. Code (49 U.S.C. 40102 and
40125). Except for certain airspace rules that apply to all aircraft (reference Federal Aviation
Act of 1958, title 49 U.S.C. Subtitle VII), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has no
legal jurisdiction over public aircraft operations. As such, public aircraft are not subject to many
federal aviation regulations, including requirements relating to aircraft certification,
maintenance, and pilot certification.

.03 To ensure the safety of federal employees while operating in public aircraft, federal agencies
are required to develop agency-specific flight program standards that meet or exceed applicable
civil or military rules. These standards must be incorporated in contracts and agreements as set
forth in Safety Standards Guidelines for Federal Flight Programs codified by regulations set forth
in 41 CFR 102-33.140 and 41 CFR 102-33.155-185.

.04 NOAA has a responsibility to ensure that:

a. aircraft owned or operated by NOAA meet NOAA's airworthiness and operational safety
standards; and

b. all qualified non-crewmembers who fly on aircraft owned or operated by NOAA for mission
operations, and all NOAA personnel who fly as qualified non-crewmembers on any aircraft for
mission operations in the performance of their official duties, are:

1. medically screened to ensure fitness for flight;

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2. appropriately trained in aviation safety; and

3. provided appropriate ALSE.

SECTION 4. DEFINITIONS.

.01 Accident (Aircraft) – is defined by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) as an
occurrence associated with the operation of an aircraft that takes place between the time any
person boards the aircraft with the intention of flight and all such persons have disembarked, and
in which any person suffers death or serious injury, or in which the aircraft receives substantial
damage.

.02 Aeromedical Clearance Notice – a document issued by an aviation medical examiner
following medical screening, indicating medical clearance for flight duties.

.03 Aeromedical Grounding Notice – a document issued by an aviation medical examiner
following medical screening, indicating the individual is not cleared for flight duties.

.04 Aircraft – is defined by 14 CFR 1.1 as a device that is used or intended to be used for flight
in the air.

.05 Airport – is defined by 14 CFR 1.1 as an area of land or water that is used or intended to
be used for the landing and takeoff of aircraft, and includes its buildings and facilities, if any.
For the purposes of this definition, airports used for transportation mean those within Class B,
Class C, or Class D airspace as defined in 14 CFR 71.41, 71.51, and 71.61 or International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO) equivalent.

.06 Armed Forces – means the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard,
including their Regular and Reserve components. For purposes of this Order, the National Guard
is also included in the armed forces. The U.S. Civil Air Patrol and the U.S. Coast Guard
Auxiliary are not considered armed forces.

.07 Aviation Life Support Equipment (ALSE) – means equipment that protects crewmembers
and others aboard an aircraft, or assists in their safe escape, survival, and recovery during an
accident or other emergency.

.08 Aviation Services – means procurement for the use of an aircraft for mission operations or
transportation.

.09 Crewmember – is defined under 41 CFR 102-33.20 and means a person assigned to operate
or assist in operating an aircraft during flight time. Crewmembers perform duties directly related
to the operation of the aircraft (e.g., as pilots, co-pilots, flight engineers, navigators) or duties
assisting in operation of the aircraft (e.g., as flight directors, crew chiefs, electronics technicians,
mechanics).

.10 Data Services – means the procurement of products or data that may be acquired through the
use of an aircraft.
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.11 Government Aircraft – means a federal aircraft or a commercial aircraft hired as a
commercial aviation services aircraft (as defined by 41 CFR 102-33.20).

.12 Incident (Aircraft) – as defined by the NTSB, means an occurrence other than an accident,
associated with the operation of an aircraft, which affects or could affect the safety of operations.

.13 Mission Operations – means all operations other than transportation. Mission operations
include, but are not limited to: aerial surveys, airborne data collection, forecaster training, and
aerial photography. Mission operations include transportation of personnel where an aircraft
departs from or lands at a location other than an airport as defined in this Order. Accordingly,
transportation of personnel on aircraft that either depart from or land on a ship, oil rig, open field,
beach, ice, or open water is considered mission operations.

.14 Near Miss – means: (1) a near midair collision associated with the operation of an aircraft in
which a possibility of collision occurs as a result of proximity of less than 500 feet to another
aircraft, or a report is received from a pilot or a flight crew member stating that a collision hazard
existed between two or more aircraft; (2) any situation involving aircraft in which evasive action
was required to avoid a collision (such as emergency maneuvering to avoid a bird strike or
collision with any object); or (3) any "close-call" incident that could have resulted in a fatality or
serious injury, or that could have jeopardized the safety of the flight.

.15 NOAA Aircraft – means an aircraft that NOAA owns (holds title to or has vested rights in
the title) or an aircraft that NOAA leases and holds the option to purchase.

.16 NOAA Personnel – means any NOAA employee or NOAA contract employee, or any other
individual who meets the definition of a NOAA employee under Public Law 103-3 (Federal
Employees Compensation Act).

.17 Observer – means any qualified non-crewmember who monitors the performance of the
governmental function for which the aircraft is being operated. Observer status is determined by
the NOAA Line or Staff Office manager responsible for the flight and shall not be granted to an
individual more than once per year for a similar mission.

.18 Privately Owned Aircraft – is defined under 41 CFR 300-3.1 and means an aircraft that is
rented, chartered, leased, or owned by an employee for personal use. It is not rented, chartered,
leased, or owned by a government agency or an employee for use in carrying out official
government business.

.19 Qualified Non-Crewmember – is defined under 41 CFR 102-33.20 and means a person
flying onboard a government aircraft whose skills or expertise are required to perform or are
associated with performing the governmental function for which the aircraft is being operated
(qualified non-crewmembers may be researchers, law enforcement agents, fire fighters,
agricultural engineers, biologists, etc.).

.20 Scheduled Air Carrier – means any common carriage passenger carrying operation for
compensation or hire conducted by a U.S. or foreign air carrier for which the air carrier or its
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representatives offer in advance the departure location, departure time, and arrival location (e.g.,
scheduled flights offered by Southwest, United, American, Lufthansa, or British Airways).

.21 Transportation – means the use of aircraft for the exclusive purpose of moving individuals
from one airport to another. Under this definition, transportation of personnel on aircraft that
either depart from or land on a ship, oil rig, open field, beach, ice, or open water is not
considered transportation, but rather mission operations.

.22 Unit – means NOAA Line or Staff Office Region or Laboratory level office (e.g., Alaska
Fisheries Science Center National Marine Mammal Laboratory, NMFS Southwest Division
Office for Law Enforcement, Climate Monitoring and Diagnostics Laboratory, or NWS Alaska
Region).

SECTION 5. STRUCTURE AND RESPONSIBILITIES.

.01 The Director, Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO). The Director, OMAO,
shall broadly administer NOAA's aviation safety policy through the Aviation Safety Program
Manager (ASPM).

.02 NOAA Aviation Safety Board (NASB).

a. The NASB is composed of the following personnel:

   Voting Members:
      Aviation Safety Program Manager (ASPM) – Chairperson
      NOAA Aircraft Operations Center (AOC) Representative
      NOAA Safety Office Representative
      National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) Representative
      National Ocean Service (NOS) Representative
      Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR) Representative
      National Weather Service (NWS) Representative
      National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service (NESDIS)
      Representative

   Non-Voting Observers:
      NOAA General Counsel
      NOAA Acquisitions and Grants Office
      NOAA Workforce Management Office
      NOAA Program Planning and Integration

   Executive Secretary:
      Aviation Safety Program staff designee

b. Voting members of NASB must meet the aviation safety training and qualification standards
outlined in the NASB charter.

c. The NASB shall:
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1. approve aviation safety training and ALSE requirements;

2. approve minimum aviation safety standards to be included in NOAA's contracts for aviation
services and data services;

3. approve aviation safety and risk assessment tools developed by the NOAA ASP;

4. solicit and address the aviation safety issues and needs of NOAA;

5. review reports from NOAA aviation accidents and potentially dangerous incidents, and
recommend preventative measures to the ASPM;

6. review results of NOAA aviation safety audits to monitor compliance with NOAA aviation
safety policy;

7. seek pertinent expertise on aviation safety matters before the NASB; and

8. report to the NOAA Safety Council circumstances adversely impacting safety and/or
efficiency of the NOAA ASP.

.03 The ASPM shall:

a. possess significant aviation operational field experience and maintain Interagency Committee
for Aviation Policy (ICAP) Federal Aviation Safety Officer credentials;

b. maintain the NOAA Aircraft Operator Database (NAOD) described in Section 6.05 of this
Order;

c. facilitate the acquisition of aviation safety training identified in the Exhibit to this Order;

d. acquire, distribute, and maintain ALSE identified in the Exhibit to this Order;

e. provide aviation safety tools and instruction on the use of such tools, including risk
assessment matrices and mishap response checklists;

f. provide assistance to NOAA contracting officials:

1. by providing language for inclusion in all relevant contracts and agreements that set forth
NOAA airworthiness and safety standards; and

2. by serving as a source evaluation board and technical evaluation panel advisor to evaluate
potential offerors' aviation-related technical proposals;

g. host an annual NOAA aviation safety conference;

h. administer the NOAA aviation safety awards program; and
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i. maintain a NOAA aircraft accident and incident database, and enter data from NOAA aircraft
accidents and incidents into the Federal Aviation Accident Incident Reporting System (AAIRS)
as required by 41 CFR 102-33.390, Management of Government Aircraft.

.04 NOAA Line Office Assistant Administrators (AAs) shall:

a. designate in writing primary and alternate Line Office representatives to the NASB;

b. hold the Line Office NASB representatives, in their performance appraisals, accountable for
NASB duties; and

c. ensure Line Office compliance with this Order.

.05 NOAA Contracting Officers and Contracting Officers Technical Representatives (COTRs)
shall ensure:

a. contracts and agreements for which the contracting officer is responsible, that secure the use
of an aircraft on which NOAA personnel will fly:

1. are only executed with:

(a) aircraft operators listed on the NAOD described in Section 6.05 of this Order; or

(b) aircraft operators exempt in accordance with Section 2.02 of this Order; and

2. include language setting forth NOAA airworthiness and operational safety standards; and

b. the ASPM or designee is consulted as a source selection board or technical evaluation panel
advisor for all contracts and agreements subject to the provisions of this Order in order to
evaluate the air service providers' technical proposals for ability to comply with NOAA
airworthiness and operational safety standards.

.06 NOAA Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) shall:

a. medically screen qualified non-crewmembers who request to fly on aircraft owned or
operated by NOAA for mission operations, and all NOAA personnel serving as qualified
non-crewmembers on any aircraft for mission operations in the performance of their official
duties, to determine fitness for flight:

1. by expeditiously evaluating responses to questions on the NOAA Health Services Aviation
Questionnaire and following up if additional information is provided by the requestor;

2. by receiving confirmation that the individual holds a valid FAA first, second, or third class
medical certificate; or



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3. by receiving confirmation that the individual holds a valid Department of Defense
Aeromedical Clearance Notice;

b. issue written authorization in the form of a NOAA Aeromedical Clearance Notice to all
personnel medically qualified to fly;

c. adhere to the FAA third class medical certificate standards regarding currency of a NOAA
Aeromedical Clearance Notice (for individuals under 40 years of age it is valid for 36 months,
and for individuals 40 and older it is valid for 24 months); and

d. maintain a secure database of NOAA Health Services Aviation Questionnaire data.

.07 Crewmembers shall:

a. have crewmember duties specified in their position description or be appointed in writing as a
crewmember by the Commanding Officer of AOC;

b. meet or exceed all crewmember certification and medical standards, training qualifications,
flight experience, and flight currency prescribed in the NOAA AOC Aircraft Operations Manual
for the type(s) of aircraft and the flight environment exposed to when flying for NOAA;

c. ensure copies of all crewmember certificates, medical certificates, training received, results
from standardization/evaluation check flights, and copies of flight logs are in their aviator
information file at NOAA's AOC;

d. abide by all operational procedures prescribed by the NOAA AOC Aircraft Operations
Manual;

e. notify the NOAA AME of any changes in medical condition that might impact their fitness
for flight duty; and

f. when renting, chartering, or leasing an aircraft to fly operationally for NOAA, do so
exclusively from operators listed on the NAOD.

SECTION 6. PROCEDURES.

.01 Type of flight operation. Prior to departure, the Line or Staff Office manager responsible
for the flight shall determine whether the flight is for mission operations or transportation (as
defined in Section 4 of this Order) in order to determine whether the medical screening, training,
and equipment requirements set forth in Sections 6.03 and 6.04 of this Order apply.

.02 NOAA personnel are authorized to fly on the following aircraft:

a. NOAA aircraft;

b. non-NOAA aircraft owned by an air service provider listed on the NAOD;

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c. non-NOAA aircraft owned and operated by other departments, agencies, or instrumentalities
of the United States; by state or local governments; or by the governments of countries that meet
the Federal Aviation Administration International Safety Assessment Program Category 1 rating
(including the armed forces of those countries); or

d. privately owned aircraft (POA) owned by NOAA personnel, provided that: use of a POA is
authorized by NOAA in accordance with the Federal Travel Regulations, the POA is used
exclusively for transportation, and the pilot carries no other personnel onboard.

.03 NOAA personnel are authorized to fly mission operations:

a. while serving as a qualified non-crewmember, when the individual:

1. possesses a valid NOAA Aeromedical Clearance Notice;

2. has completed the appropriate aviation safety training prescribed in the Exhibit to this Order,
or if deemed an observer (see definition in Section 4 of this Order) by the Line or Staff Office
manager responsible for the flight, has received a pre-flight safety briefing from a member of the
aircraft flight crew; and

3. possesses, or has immediately accessible in the aircraft, applicable ALSE prescribed in the
Exhibit to this Order; or

b. while serving as a crewmember, when the individual meets the medical standards, aviation
safety training, and ALSE requirements set forth in the NOAA AOC Aircraft Operations Manual
for the position assigned.

.04 Non-NOAA personnel may be authorized to fly on aircraft owned or operated by NOAA.
In instances involving mission operations, non-NOAA personnel serving as qualified non-
crewmembers must satisfy the following conditions:

a. possession of a valid NOAA Aeromedical Clearance Notice;

b. completion of appropriate aviation safety training prescribed in the Exhibit to this Order, or if
deemed an observer (see definition in Section 4 of this Order) by the Line or Staff Office
manager responsible for the flight, receipt of a pre-flight safety briefing from a member of the
aircraft flight crew; and

c. possession of, or has immediate access in the aircraft to, applicable ALSE prescribed in the
Exhibit to this Order.

.05 NOAA Aircraft Operator Database (NAOD). The NOAA ASPM shall maintain a web-
based NAOD, which is a list of air service providers (both foreign and domestic) qualified to
provide aviation services to NOAA. Operators in this database were found to meet or exceed
NOAA airworthiness and operational safety standards.



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a. Use of aircraft in the NAOD shall be limited to those types of operations for which they have
been qualified (e.g., an aircraft qualified for remote sensing may not be used for transportation
unless specifically cleared for transportation). POA will not be listed on the NAOD.

b. NOAA personnel may request additional aircraft operators be evaluated for inclusion on the
NAOD by submission of a written request to the NOAA ASPM.

.06 Medical Screening for qualified non-crewmembers requesting clearance to fly on mission
operations will be initiated by the requester filling out a secure web-based NOAA Health
Services Aviation Questionnaire.

a. Upon submission of the completed questionnaire:

1. a NOAA Aeromedical Clearance Notice will be issued that can be printed out; or

2. the requester will receive notice that additional information must be provided to the NOAA
AME for evaluation;

b. additional screening by the NOAA AME will result in the requestor receiving in writing:

1. a NOAA Aeromedical Clearance Notice; or

2. a NOAA Aeromedical Grounding Notice; and

c. NOAA supervisors will be notified of all personnel under their supervision who received a
NOAA Aeromedical Grounding Notice and are deemed not medically qualified for NOAA
mission operations.

.07 Aviation Safety Training is required for all personnel serving as qualified non-crewmembers
unless they are deemed an observer by the Line or Staff Office manager responsible for the
flight. The Exhibit to this Order lists aviation safety training required for NOAA personnel who
fly as qualified non-crewmembers on any aircraft for mission operations in the performance of
their official duties and for all qualified non-crewmembers who fly on aircraft owned or operated
by NOAA for mission operations. Each Line and Staff Office shall be responsible for ensuring
all individuals under their supervision who are required to fly receive the aviation safety training
required by this Order.

.08 ALSE will be provided to individuals who fly on aircraft owned or operated by NOAA.
Examples of NOAA ALSE are in the Exhibit to this Order. ALSE shall be:

a. issued by the ASP to NOAA units in sufficient quantity to support unit flight requirements;

b. issued to the individual by the NOAA unit, or provided by the aircraft operator as required by
contractual agreement;

c. maintained and inspected to industry standards by the ASP if owned by NOAA; and

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d. worn by, or readily accessible to, personnel at all times while in flight.

.09 Aircraft Accidents and Incidents are required to be reported to the National Transportation
Safety Board (NTSB) as prescribed by 49 CFR 830, "Notification and Reporting of Aircraft
Accidents or Incidents and Overdue Aircraft, and Preservation of Aircraft Wreckage, Mail,
Cargo, and Records."

a. All NTSB-reportable accidents and incidents that occur while conducting official NOAA
business must be reported by the aircraft operator working under contract or other written
agreement with NOAA:

1. to the NOAA ASPM; and

2. to the NOAA Contracting Officer overseeing the contract.

b. NOAA personnel involved in an accident, incident, or near-miss involving an aircraft owned
or operated by NOAA must report the occurrence in accordance with NOAA Administrative
Order (NAO) 209-1, NOAA Safety Policy, and any superseding Department of Commerce
(DOC) and/or NOAA guidance.

c. Accidents and incidents involving aircraft owned or operated by NOAA will be investigated
in accordance with the policies and procedures set forth by the NOAA Incident Investigation
Program.

.10 Requests for Waiver to provisions of this Order shall be presented in writing to the Director,
OMAO, with a copy to the ASPM. The Director, OMAO, is the approval authority for all
waivers to provisions of this Order.

SECTION 7. EFFECT ON OTHER ISSUANCES.

Use of aircraft for NOAA operations is also governed by NAO 216-104, Management and
Utilization of Aircraft, and by NAO 217-106, Transportation of Nongovernment Personnel as
Passengers on NOAA Vessels, Aircraft, and Motor Vehicles. This Order should be read in
conjunction with the others. If there is a conflict, this Order shall govern.


                             Signed
               Under Secretary of Commerce for
                Oceans and Atmosphere


Office of Primary Interest:
 Office of Marine and Aviation Operations (OMAO)

Attachments:
 Appendix – List of Acronyms
 Exhibit – NOAA Aviation Safety Training and ALSE Requirements
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                                                                          NAO 209-124

                                       APPENDIX
                                  LIST OF ACRONYMS


AA – NOAA Line Office Assistant Administrator
AAIRS – Aviation Accident Incident Reporting System
ALSE – Aviation Life Support Equipment
AME – Aviation Medical Examiner
AOC – (OMAO) Aircraft Operations Center
ASP – (NOAA) Aviation Safety Program
ASPM – Aviation Safety Program Manager
COTR – Contracting Officer’s Technical Representative
FAA – Federal Aviation Administration
ICAO – International Civil Aviation Organization
ICAP – Interagency Committee for Aviation Policy
NAO – NOAA Administrative Order
NAOD – NOAA Aircraft Operator Database
NASB – NOAA Aviation Safety Board
NESDIS – National Environmental Satellite, Data and Information Service
NMFS – National Marine Fisheries Service
NOS – National Ocean Service
NTSB – National Transportation Safety Board
NWS – National Weather Service
OMAO – Office of Marine and Aviation Operations
OAR – Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
POA – Privately Owned Aircraft




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                                                                                                           NAO 209-124


                                  EXHIBIT
            NOAA AVIATION SAFETY TRAINING AND ALSE REQUIREMENTS

Note: Aviation Safety Training and ALSE Requirements presented in this exhibit are subject to
modification by the NOAA Aviation Safety Board. The most current information will be posted
on the NOAA Aviation Safety web site.




Note: Personal issue and/or use of a Helicopter Emergency Egress Device (HEED), Helicopter Aircrew Breathing Device
(HABD), or other compressed air breathing device for underwater egress is only authorized for individuals who have received
training to use the particular device.




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